Interesting health-related rental business ideas?
December 27, 2009 10:26 AM   Subscribe

Anyone have any interesting medical or health-related rental ideas? I'm interested in starting a local rental business, and am researching ideas. Considering people are living longer, with more conditions and disability, any interesting ideas for a rental business?
posted by pallen123 to Work & Money (12 answers total)
 
Are you evil? Because you could start one of those rent-to-own places but instead of having TVs and furniture, you could have wheelchairs and medical furniture.
posted by ctmf at 10:51 AM on December 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


You could lease out replacement body parts and then repo them when people can't pay.
posted by sharkfu at 11:02 AM on December 27, 2009


It's a little difficult to just spit out business ideas out of the blue (or the Green, har har). Perhaps you could find people who would be your target customers and interview them to see what their needs might be? You could also visit businesses that cater to these customers and see how they work/don't work in terms of meeting their needs.

I'm a little unclear as to whether you want to rent property to people with medical conditions, disabilities, etc... or to rent stuff in general.
posted by zachlipton at 11:10 AM on December 27, 2009


Trial full spectrum lights for Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD). You could try it out to see if it works for you and either then rent it seasonally, or then decide to buy your own.

I know that some agencies rent scooters and presumably walkers for folks who can travel enough to get there but then who have short term needs at the other end. This could be true for a lot of travel needs, so you don't have to pack your medical gear.

Disability/large size strollers?
posted by kch at 11:27 AM on December 27, 2009


Where I live, there is a place called the Convalescent Aid Society that provides certain home care/hospice supplies for FREE loan (so when you're done, you just give them back). When my grandma (on Medicare, getting the absolute minimal level of care, basically) was in hospice care at home with us, we loved this service, and when we returned the loaned items, we also donated some of the supplies we'd purchased. My mom was unemployed at the time and I was in graduate school, and my grandma had declared bankruptcy just a few years before she came to live with us. We would not have been able to get a wheelchair for her without CAS, and without the wheelchair, we wouldn't have been able to take her on enjoyable trips with the family in her last few 'good' months.

I realize it is not a mega-profit model, but I would urge you to consider how to bring that service to other people if you can find a way to do it.
posted by so_gracefully at 12:01 PM on December 27, 2009


I wanted to rent a van that I could use to transport my wheelchair-using grandmother to family gatherings for Christmas.

I found places where I could rent a van set up for a wheelchair-using driver, which was not my situation.

Coincidentally a friend had exactly the same problem over Christmas (Grandma can't come anymore because she uses a wheelchair full-time now) and he mentioned it to me.
posted by fritley at 2:14 PM on December 27, 2009


I would seriously pay to rent dogs or cats if I was convinced that you cared for them humanely. The Japanese do this, and I imagine that you could sell it to aging boomers.
posted by orthogonality at 2:21 PM on December 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, its health related because pet-time decreases anxiety.
posted by orthogonality at 2:22 PM on December 27, 2009


I can't imagine a worse business for your own soul than renting medical stuff to end users. Problem is, people who need such stuff already probably have astounding medical bills. I guess you could get good at dealing with health insurance companies for payment, which seems like an extra nuisance to me. Eventually and maybe more often than you can stand, you're going to be put in a position of having to repo grandma's wheelchair. Ugh.

Maybe if you had a LOT of starting capital, you could buy big ticket things like MRI machines and rent them to clinics. That might not require as black a heart.
posted by ctmf at 6:52 PM on December 27, 2009


Availability of disability equipment, services and accommodations varies greatly from state to state and city to city, because of differing Medicaid/Medicare coverage and local demand. You should first find out from your disabled friends what's available in your area already; there might already be a source of accessible rental vans, or the nearest place might be 100 miles away and charge an arm and a leg to deliver.

Does your city get a lot of tourists? What do people in your area do for fun? If you live in an area with access to recreational activities, you might consider renting adaptive equipment for recreation; beach chairs, monoskis, etc.
posted by Soliloquy at 7:13 PM on December 27, 2009


Do like the idea of being able to affordably rent a scooter or other mobility device. Going to the fair or other walking a lot event is a drag sometimes...

Also perhaps a way to recycle and reuse hearing aids? Those things are EXPENSIVE and most health insurance programs do NOT cover them!

Anything not covered by health insurance would be a boon to everyone!
posted by Jinx of the 2nd Law at 9:22 PM on December 27, 2009


How about renting exercise equipment?
My husband and I are 60 year old runners and its miserable going in the winter months with the bitter cold, wind, ice, etc. I sure would love to have my own treadmill or elliptical bike in my nice warm apartment - but just for 3 or 4 months.
posted by Tullyogallaghan at 1:46 PM on December 28, 2009


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